July 20, 2024

Breaking Africa News

We bring you developing Stories, Politics, Economic, Sports, Entertainment , breaking news and lifestyle across East Africa, Central Africa, Western Africa, South Africa, Across Africa and globally

Nigeria: 4,500 Nigerians Killed, 7,000 Kidnapped in Tinubu’s First Year As President

5 min read

In his inaugural speech on 29 May, 2023, President Bola Tinubu vowed to tackle the lingering insecurity in the country.

“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence,” the new president declared in his inauguration speech at the Eagle Square, Abuja, promising to overhaul the sector.

“To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security doctrine and its architecture. We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide better training, equipment, pay, and firepower,” he added.

It was not the first time Mr Tinubu would make promises of improved security. He had in countless pre and post-election appearances made such assertions.

However, one year after he assumed office as president, almost all parts of the country still suffer one form of insecurity or the other. Although one year may not be enough to judge the success or otherwise of an administration, there has been no significant improvement in the security sector from where Mr Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, left it.

Indeed, the menace continued unabated, resulting in more than 4,556 fatalities and 7,086 abductions between 29 May 2023 and 11 May 2024, according to data gathered from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a global data hub that collects real-time conflict-related data.

Two months after his inaugural pledge to improve national security, Mr Tinubu expressed satisfaction with the performance of the service chiefs he had just appointed barely a month earlier.

“We have seen that we are recording positive results in our security challenges because of your dedication, commitment and steadfastness,” he told the Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, and three other service chiefs at their decoration ceremony in Abuja.

But killings and abductions keep making headlines.

Insurgency, banditry, resources-based conflict reign in the north

An analysis of the ACLED data by PREMIUM TIMES shows that the six geo-political zones, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, experienced several violent incidents within the period under review.

Banditry-thorn North-west leads other regions with 1,475 deaths and 4,343 abductions.

The trio of Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara states prominently featured as violence hotspots, accounting for 551 out of 718 incidents recorded in the region.

In the North-central, 552 incidents of banditry, farmers-herders conflict and cultism claimed at least 1,444 lives, including military and local security forces.

In addition, about 1,321 abductions were recorded in the region.

Insurgency, banditry and other forms of violence in the North-east also resulted in at least 819 deaths and 688 abductions. These were recorded from 408 violent incidents in the region.

Cultism, militancy and other vices in the south

In a total of 231 violent incidents majorly revolving around cultism and militancy, the South-south zone witnessed at least 336 deaths and 295 abductions.

A similar pattern of violence, including separatist agitations and extrajudicial killings, claimed about 310 lives in the South-east where 214 others were kidnapped.

In the South-west, cultism, banditry and other forms of violence killed at least 172 civilians as 225 others were abducted.

Major terror incidents recorded under Tinubu

Mr Tinubu had barely spent three months in office when his administration was quaked with the killings of 36 military personnel responding to terror threats in some communities in Niger State on 14 August.

That same day, the terror group led by notorious Dogo Gide also shot down a military aircraft on a rescue mission, although the Nigerian Air Force said it was an accident.

Three months later, Nigerians woke to shocking news from Bokkos and Mangu local government areas of Plateau State where over 100 locals were killed on Christmas eve. Violence continued in the area for a while with a series of attacks and reprisals.

In March this year, armed terrorists abducted 137 students from elementary schools in Kuriga, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State. The students were set free two weeks later, after an undisclosed amount of ransom was paid.

That same month, 15 military operatives consisting of two majors, one captain, and 12 soldiers of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, Nigerian Army, were killed by raging youth in Okuama village, Ughelli South LGA of Delta State.

The military operatives were on a mission to restore normalcy between two warring communities — Okuama and Okoloba in Bomadi LGA — when they were surrounded by their killers.Tinubu: Winning the security war?

Although the country suffered huge fatalities within the period under review, the terrorists were not spared either.

The ACLED data shows that sustained military operations and infighting among terror groups resulted in about 4,165 terrorist casualties.

Speaking at a combined convocation ceremony of Usmanu Danfodiyo University (UDUS), the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, highlighted the approaches the government was taking to end the multifaceted violence across the country.

“On the kinetic front, the Nigerian military is conducting numerous operations targeting insurgent groups like Boko Haram and bandits operating in Northern Nigeria,” the NSA stated, adding that several operations had been launched to “root out insurgents and criminals from their strongholds, dismantle their networks, and restore law and order in affected areas.”

Mr Ribadu added that such coordinated operations led to the death of high profile terrorists like Ali Kawaje.

According to him, intelligence gathering and sharing had been prioritised “as a crucial component of its kinetic efforts to address insecurity in the region.”

“Our non-kinetic strategies and approach are driven by evidence,” Mr Ribadu continued. “We have strengthened the administration of criminal justice by reopening trials of Boko Haram terrorism suspects detained in Kanji and other locations across the country and prosecutions are now underway in eight different courts.”

“Concurrently, we have significantly reduced the proliferation of arms nationwide by blocking the flows and arresting gunrunners. With new appointments at the National Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW), we are poised to launch even more robust initiatives,” he added.

However, a security expert, Kabir Adamu, said the president has not yet addressed the root causes of insecurity in the country despite all the investment in the sector.

Mr Adamu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Security and Intelligence, applauded the military’s operations against terrorists.

He, however, argued that continued proliferation of arms, drug abuse, ungoverned borders, ineffective justice administration system and inability to implement adaptation measures to combat climate change are some of the root causes of insecurity that the government has not addressed.

Mr Adamu also advised that state governors should be actively involved in national security arrangements.

By Premium Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *